Shawlands Art Trail ~ Again

I was in Shawlands on Sunday to visit the Park Lane Market and while I was there I caught up with local lad Gregor Henderson working away at the back of the Shawlands Arcade.  I liked what I saw of the unfinished piece so I had to go back to see and photograph it today.  The mural is of a view of Queens Park and the text is an extract from, ‘Grey’ a poem by Scotland’s first poet laureate, Edwin Morgan. The poem in full can be read here.

Gregor Henderson

The updated Trail Map can be visited here.

Clutha Vaults 2021

I know I may be a bit late posting these images taken at the Clutha Vaults in Glasgow, but due to lockdowns, it was over a year since I had ventured into that part of the city. It was sad to see the old portraits go, but as they had deteriorated so much it really was time for them to change.

The new ones, the Glasgow Faces, were added in July 2020, by a band of Glasgow’s talented artists, namely Ejek, Michael Corr, Little Book Transfers, Claudine O’Sullivan, Michelle Campbell, Rogue-One, Coll Hamilton, Jody Kelly, Christian Kerr, and Robotic Ewe, they all certainly add a great deal to the Bridgegate corner. One that really caught my fancy was Michelle Campbell’s clever geometric portrait, when I looked at it straight on all I could see were random shapes, looked at through my camera the face appeared, it’s spectacular.

It was also good to see Rogue-One’s portrait of Charles Rennie Mackintosh sporting his face mask. My only disappointment was that the pub was shut.

Shawlands Art Trail – Updated

I took another trip to Shawlands today to catch up with some new pieces added since my last visit and I wasn’t disappointed, the final blank space on Shawlands Continental wall on Frankfort Street was painted over with a nice cartoon image from PizzaBoy, whilst at the rear of the Shawlands Arcade, BoxVincent applied his wonderful calligraphy technique to two walls with a quote from local Shawlands lad John Martyn’s song ‘May you Never’, ‘Love is a lesson to learn in our time’.

There was much excitement on Kilmarnock Road outside ORO whilst I was there, especially when the school let out, as TheLocaleJoshua and BossCityTaio were painting a giant gorilla they’ve named ‘King Kovid’, this sculpture is being prepared for ORO’s full opening, it certainly is colourful.

I have updated the Mural Trail map to add these locations, the map is here.

Shawlands Art Trail Walking Route

To enable visitors to the Shawlands area, I have created a route map showing where the artworks are situated, each of the pieces are show on the map with a red camera icon, clicking on the icon displays the mural, I have also included the locations of the previously created works.

The route map can be found here.

Shawlands is a revitalised area of Glasgow with an urban vibe. There are a wide range of bars, cafes and restaurants sitting alongside a diverse collection of independent stores to entertain and refresh you during your visit..

Shawlands Art Trail

The sun shone, (most of the time) and the crowds were out in Shawlands at the weekend, I don’t think many were aware that it was the start of work on the Shawlands Art Trail, a project which kicked at the weekend, but it was great to see some familiar faces out with their paints adding colour to Shawlands Streets, I also got the chance to meet some artists I had never met before.

The project, organised by My Shawlands, has been assisted by Gaz Mac from SWG3’s Yardworks Project, as usual, Gaz’s skill in this type of project has been invaluable, he was much in evidence over the weekend supporting the artists.

The artists working this weekend were Chelsea Frew at the side of Betty Beans at Trefoil Avenue, Lightbody107 at Ruby Woo’s on Deanston Drive, while Molly Hankinson, Little Book Transfers, Bosscitytaio, BmoreSketchy and MackColours were all working on the wall at the side of the Shawlands Continental supermarket on Frankfort Street. Meanwhile, Jenny Booth, Jennie Bates and Cocozza Aesthetics were painting away inside the Shawlands Arcade. Barry the Cat, a regular artist in the area was to been seen painting with Sapian on the old bothy next to the Camphill Bowling Club on Langside Drive, their floral piece, full of colour certainly brightens up a dull old building.

As this is only the start of the project, which will eventually see around 35 separate works of art on the blank spaces of the neighbourhood, it will be exciting to see it fully develop.

Regular updates on the project can be found

While I was in the area I took a chance to visit some of the murals already there, especially the 2 in the lane next to Jodandy’s Cafe one painted by Barry the Cat to commemorate the first Black international football player, Andrew Watson, who began his career in Glasgow. Directly across from Watson’s portrait, is a portrait by King Listy of Pelé, who is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time.

I then revisited the Park Lane Market where it was good to see some murals that had been added since my last visit, especially the one by London-based artist Louis Masai highlighting the plight of orangutans

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Getting back out again

With the weather turning brighter and lockdown being eased slightly, I decided to venture out last week with my camera to see if there was much happening on the street art scene.

My first stop was of course Yardworks at SWG3 where I was not disappointed, I discovered some new pieces by some of my favourite artists, Mark Worst, Rogue One, Chelsea Frew, Artisan Artworks, Conzo & Globel and Smug. This time around though there were some very good pieces by new, to me, artists such as Molly Hankinson, Lightbody107 and David Speed UK.

On the way home from the SWG3, I ventured further towards the East End stopping off at The Barra’s to see the Cobolt Collective’s new foot high mural inspired by Douglas Stuart’s winning novel Shuggie Bain, featuring the line from the book “You’ll not remember the city you were too wee, but there’s dancing. All kinds of dancing”. I then found a newish piece on the side of Barras Art and Design before heading to Dennistoun to capture Conzo & Global’s iconic Visit Dennistoun sign.

A short trip down Abercromby Steet then took me to the stunning and colourful mural by Mark Worst depicting St Thenue, the mother of Glasgow’s patron saint St Mungo, located on a gable at the bottom of the street.

Mark obviously studied the life of St Thenue before starting work on the mural, as he has added many features with strong East End connections. The shawl which St Thenue is wearing features 29 motifs in the fabric – in recognition of the nearby Templetons carpet factory disaster in 1889 when a wall collapsed onto a weaving shed killing 29 young women and girls.

Mark Worst – Abercromby Street

Crossing the river back to the South Side, I came across a nice mural by King Listy, incorporating drawings from the Govanhill Youth Club, representing the importance of the younger generation in the fight against racism. The mural is located at the new Govanhill People’s Pantry on on Carfin Street at Cathcart Road.

My next stop on the way home was at Lochleven Road at Battlefield Road, where a ‘Barrowlands’ themed mural has appeared on the side wall of the Common Ground Café, created by @scottishgraffitimurals, it certainly bring a bit of colour to the area. Just along the way at Battlefield Avenue is a mural tribute to the NHS on the side of the All Floors Carpet shop, I don’t know who painted that one.

That’s all I’ve got for today, during the weekend I was drawn to Shawlands where I took plenty of photographs, I will upload them later in the week.

What a difference a year makes

I was checking my emails this morning and noticed one from Google Maps which visually displayed the difference the pandemic has made to me, and no doubt many others.

My travels in 2019
My travels in 2020

I thought I was brave in 2020 to travel as far as Cumbernauld to buy some timber for my garden and the exotic trip to Barrhead was to the council rubbish trip, those were the highlights of my year.

My 2020

What a year we have all had, I’m sure you would agree.  From what I could read or see on TV reports, things in other parts of the world weren’t much different to what happened here in the UK.

I had planned to do a great deal of travelling again in 2020, I had trips to Spain, Germany, Austria, Turkey and Azerbaijan all cancelled and I was forced to stay at home. 

At the start of our lockdown in March, I began to have a daily walk in my local area, discovering parts I never realised were there. During these walks I decided to have a stab at a little project I had been planning to do, a few years ago I came across a little package with a collection of photographs of Clarkston, my home town, dating from around 1900-1910, so armed with my camera, I tried to take photographs of the same scenes today whilst out and about, this project grew to cover a few neighbouring areas and I ended up with almost 40 little videos, I’ve added a shortened YouTube version of the combined Clarkston ones.

Clarkston 1900 – 2020

From the legend supplied with the original photographs describing where each was taken, it made it relatively easy to find them, and the lack of traffic due to the lockdown meant that I could try to replicate the scenes, over 100 years after the originals were taken.  I then turned them into short video clips that I uploaded to a local Facebook page, they were popular enough that I started to get requests for shots of other parts of the town, this then expanded into other nearby neighbourhoods.  This was an interesting project that certainly kept me occupied during the early part of lockdown period.

Once the weather improved, I spent some time tidying the garden, doing jobs I had put off for years, once I had started, I really got to enjoy it and the place looks a bit better now.  One thing which became apparent during my gardening endeavours was the fact that my garden shed was in a poor state of repair and really needed replacing. 

I placed an order for a slightly larger one from a local supplier and started clearing out the ‘Glory Hole’ the old one had become, fortunately I was able to off-load the junk and cleared the site awaiting the arrival if a shiny new shed. 

I was determined that the new one would not become a dumping ground and that I would fit it out as a small workshop. With help from Graeme, we insulated the walls and roof, lined and painted the interior and fitted a couple of benches, where I installed tools I had for years but was unable to use to their best due to limited space.  I then became the local version of the ‘Repair Shop’ (a TV show on BBC), repairing bicycles, power tools, kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners for my neighbours, and using my tools to build bits for the garden from timber reclaimed from the old shed.

The start of the wintery weather saw me start a new hobby, I decided to purchaser a CNC Router, which enabled me to combine my CAD skills with machining experience to produce parts whilst indoors, despite my previous experience it was a steep learning curve, but one I thoroughly enjoyed, it has been great fun making Doggie Fridge Magnets, Fairy Door, little gifts and ornaments for friends and family.

Once I felt I had mastered working carving wood, I decided to try my hand at working with acrylic to make some 3D effect LED lamps, I managed to source a good supply of material from a company in Ibrox (from their scrap bin) and eBay was able to supply the bases. Because it was around Christmas time, trees were top of the list followed by night lights for children.

A new addition to the lamps are 3 camera based ones, which I really like.

The Lumix one I created for my neighbour’s son Max, a talented filmmaker and photographer, his new YouTube channel is very impressive with some spectacular videos taken around Scotland, feel free to check it out.

Max Carnie – YouTube

Clarkston through a lens – Part 2

Following my earlier post of 6 images from the collection shown above, here are the final 6 photographs and their modern equivalents.

Image #7 “Railway Station, Clarkston”, this image shows Clarkston Station, looking eastwards towards East Kilbride, it is thought that the photograph was taken in 1910, around 40 years after the station first opened,

Image #8 “Sheddens, Clarkston”, This image shows a row of houses, mainly unchanged in today’s image, the only difference would possibly be the difficulty of children playing in the middle of the road nowadays.

Image #9 “Carolside Gardens, Clarkston”, again a view of houses largely unchanged, externally, over the years, I wonder if the same could be said of the interiors. It is interesting to note that the name Carolside Gardens is still referred to today.

Image #10 “Eaglesham Road, Clarkston” I must admit that I took today’s photograph of this scene quite a few times and I still think it could be bettered, perhaps another time.   I was sure that the original photograph had been taken from outside Friel’s Opticians at the corner of Eaglesham Road and Authur Street, but on examining the image closer, I now think that it was taken further along the road where the lane beside the Co-Op shops is now.

Image #11 “Eaglesham Road, Clarkston” Another view of Image Eaglesham Road, this time looking towards the Sheddens, very little change can be seen in this image, however, the road has been widened considerably and a great deal more houses have been built in the area.

Image #12 “Roodebloem Gardens, Clarkston”  This image shows a view of the terrace of houses on Busby Road running from near the railway station to the corner of Strawhill Road, again these houses are largely unchanged externally today.  The name Roodebloem is interesting though and appears nowhere today.  The only reference I can find to it is of an estate in South Africa, and a reference to a battle by the Royal Scots Grey’s there during the Boer War.  What the connection to Clarkston is intriguing, to say the least

That finishes off my exercise for a wee while, I may try to find out the South African Connection, or try and find some more old photographs to replicate in the future.

Clarkston through a lens – Part 1

A couple of years ago I came across a little package with a collection of photographs of my home town, Clarkston, dating from around 1900-1910.  During my daily exercise walk, I have tried to take photographs of the same scenes today.

From the legend supplied with the photographs describing where each was taken, it made it relatively easy to find them, and the lack of traffic due to the Coronavirus lockdown meant that I could try to replicate the scenes, over 100 years after the originals were taken.

Image #1 was described as “Eastwoodmains Road, Clarkston” this one was very easy to find and I’m sure the white building on the left is the O’Haras accounting business at the corner of Golf Road.  If you look closely you can see the 3 mullioned windows on that building as a recognisable feature.

Image #2 was the most problematic of the images, it was titled “Golf Course Clarkston”. I assumed that meant the Williamwood Golf Course on Clarkston Road, and due to the club being closed I was able to get onto the greens to try and find the location this image was taken from. I was unable to find the exact location and after further research, it looks likely that the image was taken on The Busby & Clarkston Golf Course which existed near the Eaglesham Road between 1897 and 1951. I have added a similar image from my visit to Williamwood Golf Course, which was a pleasant place to visit during the lockdown.

Image #3 titled “Birds Eye View of Clarkston” took me south towards what is known today as the Sheddens, after much searching I discovered that the image was more than likely to be taken from the steeple of Greenbank Parish Church looking towards Arthur Street.  Unable to access the steeple I manage to capture a reasonable representation of the image from the church grounds. The roof of the white house on the left is clearly visible on both images.

Image #4 “Busby Road and Clarkston and Eaglesham Road”, this area displayed the most change over the years. The original photograph, thought to date from around 1900, shows the Buck’s Head wine and spirit vaults” which later became the Buck’s Head Tea Rooms at what is known today as the Sheddens.  The name Sheddens comes from the Scots word “shed” meaning a parting or division.

Image #5 “Eastwoodmains Road, Clarkston”, this view looking north east towards Clakston Toll with the Clarkston Bowling & Tennis Club on the left, the view hasn’t changed much over the years, although most of the large trees have been removed.

Image #6 “Clarkston Road“, this view shows the building at the corner of, what is now named, Busby Road and Mearns Road at the Clarkston Toll shopping area.  The tenement building on the left remains, however, as can been seen, there has been significant change in the area around the toll, the large building on the right being the only one remaining.

That’s the first six of photographs from the collection, I will post the remaining six later.  As I said, I really had great fun with this project, it kept me busy and active during the Coronavirus Lockdown, one benefit of which meant that I was able to stand in the middle of the road for some of the shots.